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IMS: Revolutionary for Telecommunications?

The IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) has become one of the hottest topics in telecommunications. In-Stat believes that IMS provides a unifying vision for the future of telecommunications, and that it is more appropriate now to think of IMS as an overall IP Multimedia System that consists of a single, converged architecture for wireline and wireless service providers, end-user devices with the required IP multimedia functionality, and the systems integration necessary to deliver high-quality IP multimedia services for and between any set of wireline and wireless end-users.

According to In-Stat, IMS is a revolutionary vision for the future of the telecommunications industry, leading to new multimedia services, new network architectures, new business models and relationships, and new end-user devices with new capabilities. In the long term, all telecommunications services (voice services, business networking services, the Internet, IPTV) will be provided through IMS.

"IMS will deliver the Holy Grail of convergence of access to multimedia services/applications across any end-user device that all service providers are seeking to offer their customers in the future," says Henry Goldberg, In-Stat analyst. "But providers have a long list of challenges facing them that must be overcome to fully migrate to a converged network architecture for their entire wireline and wireless businesses."

In-Stat found the following:

- The migration towards IMS will be a gradual evolution where service providers initially deploy overlay networks to test new services and the workings of the new architecture.
- A key challenge for service providers is to understand the types of multimedia services that different market segments will be willing to buy.
- Service providers are migrating to VoIP infrastructures based on softswitches to reduce costs. In-Stat believes that there is a strong impetus for service providers to instead put in an IMS infrastructure which can deliver the same VoIP services and cost savings, but also adds the potential for increased revenues from a variety of new multimedia services.

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